Music buff's big dreams
Opera in the Park musical director and Nelson City Councillor Pete Rainey has a plan to make the region an annual summer destination for music lovers.
Mr Rainey wants Opera in the Park to be extended to a week-long orchestral festival and for it to be held every alternate year to the already well-established biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival.
He is convinced the arrangement would bring more tourists to Nelson and encourage them to stay for longer, as well as make the region a more interesting place for locals.
He said a huge amount of effort already goes into getting Orchestra Wellington to Nelson for Opera in the Park, and turning what is a single night of entertainment into a festival would not be that hard.
"The musicians could come earlier in the week and perform in smaller groups before coming together as the full orchestra," he said.
"It doesn't have to be classical music. It could be jazz, it could be pop. There are plenty of contemporary musicians who have done gigs with orchestras."
Aside from the obvious issue of funding and/or sponsorship, another hurdle the idea faces is the fact the Adam Festival and Opera in the Park are both taking place this summer.
Mr Rainey believes the way around this is for Opera in the Park to be held again next year and every second year after that.
Opera in the Park used to be an annual event but was not held last year as a result of Nelson City Council deciding, because of the economic slowdown and a shortage of major sponsors, to hold it every two years.
Mr Rainey said the key to turning Opera in the Park into a festival would be finding funding from regional businesses to make it happen.
"To have these musicians in the city for several days would be fantastic," he said.